We’ve delved into Core Set 2020, we’ve explored its amazing limited environment and we’ve touched on many of the great cards that are included in this set, but what about the Standard format? How are these cards doing? Are they making the cut, are they good enough?
The answer is a resounding yes.
For a Core Set, Core Set 2020 has blown away even the greatest veterans of the hobbies expectations, due to its surprising power level and replayability.
For the last set before rotation this fall, it is truly amazing to see how much of an impact Core Set 2020 has had. Typically, the last set before rotation has the least effect, simply due to dilution, as the card pool is the biggest it will be.
(Image via mtggoldfish Standard Metagame)
Yet, as can be seen from the image above, three of the top four decks in the Standard metagame have been made possible due to missing pieces found within Core Set 2020, that pushed these decks from fringe, to top tier decks that are warping the format.
One above all others, and of which will be the focus of this article, is Orzhov Vampires, or as we and many others like to call it Sorin’s Vampires.
As promised in our initial review of the Core Set 2020 limited environment, we bring to you today, Sorin’s Vampires, made possible due to the amazing new Vampire tribal cards included in the recently released Core Set 2020.
This deck is jam packed with Vampires that synergize incredibly well together.
This should come as no surprise as they are all part of the same tribe, however, what is surprising is just how effective this deck is at running over your opponents, wiping them off the board before they even know what hit them.
Now that you have the decklist, let's get into some of the key cards that make this deck the powerhouse that it is.
Leading the charge is the Planeswalker that brings this whole deck together, Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord.
Without Sorin, this Vampire tribal deck is still powerful, it is still viable, but it is simply not a top tier deck in the current standard format, the power level simply isn’t there.
Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord hitting on turn three is a nearly unbeatable play, as he can ramp into one of your larger, more formidable vampires turns ahead of schedule.
This is made possible due to his -3 ability, which allows you to immediately take a Vampire card from your hand and place it onto the battlefield, regardless of that cards cost.
The best cards for this ability are of course Champion of the Dusk, who allows you to draw X cards, where X is the number of Vampires you control. On turn three, this can already mean that you are drawing multiple cards, as the Champion of Dusk counts himself.
This will quickly put you ahead in the resource department, as you outdraw your opponent, while also presenting a considerable turn three threat.
The only drawback to Champion of Dusk is the fact that you also lose X life, so be wary in the latter stages of a match, as you could end up killing yourself.
Secondly, we have Sanctum Seeker, who is another strong Vampire that can be brought in a turn early via Sorin.
Sanctum Seeker synergizes incredibly well with this deck, as all of your creatures are of course Vampires and as you will typically be the one on the offensive.
Each Vampire you control grants you one life, while stealing one life from your opponents total, each time they attack, as long as Sanctum Seeker remains on the board.
Versus another aggro deck, or burn deck, where the race to zeroing your life total is your competitions main objective, this line of text could be what saves the game and ultimately what allows you to outrace your opponent.
In addition to both the Champion of Dusk and the Sanctum Seeker, this deck consists of a total of 25 creatures, which is nothing to scoff at.
Much as your game plan depends on using the low mana cost creatures within this deck to start off with a bang, putting your opponent on their back feet and keeping them that way for the rest of the game.
This game plan is enabled by cards such as Knight of the Ebon Legion, Vicious Conquistador, Skymarcher Aspirant and Adanto Vanguard.
All of these cards are able to hit the board early and begin chipping away at your opponent's life total.
Knight of the Ebon Legion is one of the key cards in the deck, as it can become a significant threat as early as turn three, after which you should have the mana to begin to pump this card up on its own, granting it an additional +3/+3.
This will either force your opponent to “chump block” and lose one of their defenders, or take four damage, allowing your Knight of the Ebon Legion to gain +1/+1 at the end of the turn, making it a base 2/3 creature.
Best of all, is that the Knight of the Ebon Legion’s +1/+1 ability, when a player loses 4 life on your turn can be activated by your very own Adanto Vanguards “pay 4 life: gain indestructible until end of turn” ability.
Knight of the Ebon Legion, as can be seen, can quickly grow out of control and is a formidable threat in both the early and latter stages of the game, which always makes for a great card.
The last card that we are going to specifically talk about in this Vampire tribal deck is Legion Lieutenant, the two drop “Vampire Lord” card, that makes all your other Vampire cards that much stronger by placing a +1/+1 on them.
Legion Lieutenant plays a similar role to a pivotal key card in one of the Standard formats previous best aggro decks, Benalish Marshal.
Benalish Marshal is a card that had to be dealt with and so is Legion Lieutenant, due to the fact that this deck consists of 25 Vampire cards, all of which are going to benefit from Legion Lieutenant’s passive ability.
Having one to two of these cards on the battlefield is not uncommon and having three or more is not unheard of.
This allows Sorin’s Vampires to “go wide, or over” your opponents defenders, forcing them into unfavorable blocks, or simply running them over due to the sheer amount of buffed up Vampires you control.
It is a great card and is a key player in this decks ability to perform at the top tier level.
Sorin’s Vampires is a true tribal deck, which is both refreshing to see and play in the current MTG Standard format.
Not only that, but it has proven success, winning league after league on MTGO, and taking home numerous tournament victories, such as the recent SCG Standard IQ Queen Creek tournament, in which it took first place!
Its ability to sideboard in great cards such as Noxious Grasp and Gideon Blackblade only make this already powerful deck that much more powerful.
Sadly, the only one caveat that bears mentioning is that many of the cards included within this deck will be rotating out of the Standard format come this fall, however, the next set to be released is the Throne of Eldraine, which is centered around grim fantasy fairytales, of which Vampires will undoubtedly play a key role in!
Let us know if you have tested out Sorin’s Vampires as of yet and if so, how did you like it?
As always, thanks for reading!